Everything was going great after having a sweet new baby i was at home with my mom helping me with everything and then 2 weeks later, bam. back to no family to help out and school. then it all began. I was certain that being a mom would obviously be rainbows and butterflies and everything else happy in life, i thought i would be able to cook, clean, do homework and raise the perfect child. All of my unrealistic expectations were shot as reality set it, i was just trying to make it day by day with my new life. constant battle of emotions and not to mention being fat (yes i know i just had a baby but it doesn't help the emotions!)and i had this new body- with stretch marks, sore buttocks area, sore from breast feeding, and leaky boobs! how did those other two girls in my nursing class have babies mid semester?! they are amazing- obviously i was meaning to post about my struggles sooner and here is the first post i originally wrote:

From a post i started on February 7th:

"you have a perfectionist personality, you don't like to ever ask for help, you don't ever want to let people know that everything is not okay- you like to put up a happy front and you always try to appease people... You are always trying to do too much." this is how my psychologist described my personality and I think she hit it pretty dead on- this is not a normal post for me and I don't want it to be some pity party post but I have been struggling with postpartum anxiety and depression. I am afraid to go out with just Hazel and I- I am always panicky about if she gets enough to eat, if she is sick, why can't she be on a schedule, what book I should be reading to learn how to parent better, what daily activities I have to be doing to better my child's development, and when she starts to cry I need to hand her to Jason- I have feelings of insufficiency like who would ever leave their child at 2 weeks old to go back to school or how could a good mom leave and go back to work so I must not be a good mom..... I know some are thinking these are normal or no of course you are a good mom.. But no matter what people keep saying about this is normal and just don't think that way. Well I can't not think that way and it may be normal to a point but when you don't feel like you can take your child anywhere and cry for hours it's not normal me.

Now on March 18th:
From my last post my anxiety has gotten better.. but the depression has continued. It is such a hard thing to deal/battle with because its unexplainable. You can't see it- so when people ask why i am crying... i don't have an answer. i don't know why i am crying. the joys of being a sad new mom. I am certain that being far away from family and in the midst of nursing school are not helping my situation much either. As far as anxiety, i am able to venture out in the world with hazel now (i didn't go anywhere just her and i for almost the first 8 weeks) and i know she is getting enough to eat as we are getting the hang of this breast feeding thing. (yes i am trying/plan on EBF. shooting for a full year!) i still have trouble trusting very many people to hold her and almost trust NO one to watch her. sometimes i don't want to hold her as i should or sometimes i am overly protective and don't even want jason to hold her-and most times it is easier to have to go to school or work so i don't have to stress and worry so much about watching her. i should LOVE being a mom, right? whenever i think it is getting better it doesn't. But let me tell you i am grateful for an understanding husband who has put up with me through all of this, wonderful family and friends and a savior who loves me and knows my needs. he knew that i needed my dad to guide me to talk to some people about it and he knew i needed my sisters to advocate for me and help me get the help that i needed. i have started some medication but it takes a couple weeks to really help and i am very very looking forward to being a happy new mom. feeling normal, feeling myself again. this is definitely something i debated posting about because it is such a personal topic. but the more i can talk about it the better it has made me feel, oh and if we happen to run into each other out and about it's okay to give me a hug and ask me how i am.. i may burst into tears but i love to know you care :)


Anna said...

You know what makes you a good Mom Devyn? All of the things you just wrote. You worry about Hazel and her well being and that makes you a great mother! Isn't it funny that Motherhood is supposed to be such a natural part of life, but then it is by far the HARDEST thing in life? I'm happy that Jason is such a good husband and Dad and that he can take care of you like you deserve. I'm glad you were able to find some tools to help you cope with your PD. Working out and limiting my sugar (the chemicals in sugary treats/snacks are the worst for my mental state)has really helped me with Postpartum and with PMS. I find my hormones are more balanced and I just "feel" happier. For me going off of sugar and exercising with my happiness in mind makes it so much easier than when I do it with weight loss goals in mind. Just an idea. Also the thing we hear the most and sometimes the last thing we want to hear is, Pray and Read the scriptures.

You are beyond amazing for doing all that you are! So exciting to be graduating soon and having that huge stress off your shoulders! Love ya lady!

Heather said...

Devyn, I wish I could give you a hug right now! I love you and I know things will get better. You can get through this!!!! There is no more important thing that you will do in your life than be a mother. We'll keep you in our prayers!

Erin and Zach said...

I am so proud of you for posting this. It of course made me cry when I read it and I wish I could be there to give you a hug a million times a day. I am so proud you are taking such great care of yourself and your beautiful little girl. Jason has been amazing and I know you know how lucky you are to have eachother. The light at the end of the tunnel with these awful feelings is finally here. I am so grateful that you brought me such a beautiful amazing niece and it hurts my heart to know that you are full of anxiety and sadness. It will get better and easier and don't forget that I am just a phone call away. I love you so much and am so lucky to call you my sister.

Katie Petersen said...

Devyn, I love that you wrote about all of this on your blog. I know it's personal, but it will help others too. I have never experienced postpartum, but I do know what it's like to be in a constant battle with your emotions and sometimes burst into tears when there is seemingly no reason, at least to others that are observing. I'm so sorry this has been hard for you! How lucky you are to have Jason by your side supporting you through all of this. And definitely always remember the Savior know you and loves and will help you through this hard time! Wish we were still in Utah to hang out!

Katie Petersen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittani said...

I can't believe I saw this post at work and not at home! I am in tears Devyn. Thank you for writing this down and sharing. I love you so much, more than words can say. I can't wait for you to experience ALL the joys of motherhood. (the good, the bad, the happy, the sad--- in a sing song voice)because of this trial you have a greater understanding of the Lord's work for you and you are a greater person because of it. I am also so thankful for the insight you have given to me to allow me to better serve my patients who struggle with this very same thing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am so thankful that you brought Jason and hazel into my family. So much richer because of them and you.

ps- can I post this on laborlooks?? call me

Emily said...

You are soo normal!!!! Dev, I was the exact same way with Parker. I STRESSED about how much he was eating, I was TERRIFIED to go out just me and him, and I had horrible anxiety when it came to him and his schedules. I ended up being done nursing around 7 months, it was hard and I felt like a bad mom, but for me and my sanity and just to make my life easier we switched to formula. I'm sure you'll make it the full year though, but if you don't (which I wouldn't blame you with your busy schedule) you'll still be a terrific mom.
Looking back on these past 8 months, here are some things I would have done different;
don't stress to much about schedules, one week they are doing great on a schedule the next week, they aren't on it at all, and it's fine. they keep changing and sometimes they just don't want to sleep.
It's ok if baby cries a little bit. Just set baby in her crib and give yourself 10 minutes to walk outside and pull yourself together. her 10 min crying is worth you getting yourself back to together to be a good mom.

anyways, i should just call you and tell you this. i wish i was in utah to hang out and give you a big hug!!! but seriously, you're so normal with these feelings and emotions you're going through. i think every new mom feels them, some just don't let them show as much and hold them in more, which just builds up! which can't be good! lol.
love you dev!

Mamawags said...

Love you Devyn!!! All of those feelings are so normal. One of my favorite post-partum depression experiences was nursing a baby while watching an old Brady Bunch rerun. And me.... bawling like a baby!! I couldn't stop crying. Marsha was just trying to be a good daughter nominating her dad for 'Father of the Year' and she got in trouble. And there's me: fat, nursing (which was leaking all over!) and crying like a toddler. Lovely, just lovely. :)

Hang in there. You're a great mom because you love your little girl and because you worry about all of those things!!